For the most part, four-car self-propelled Budd railcars presently connect Santiago de Cuba with Havana on the Central line. The flagship of the system is a 12-coach train originally used between Paris and Amsterdam. Although buses competed with the railroad, they all became nationalized after the revolution. Attempting to prevent the decay of the Cuban system, British Rail helped during the 1960’s by supplying new locomotives. However, this slowed and eventually came to a halt after the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Eastern Bloc and countries that continued to be friendly with Cuba, such as Canada, Spain and Mexico, took over. During the past decade China, Iran and Venezuela became Cuba’s primary benefactors and suppliers. Cuba has had long-range plans to update and modernize its railroad system. These plans are presently being realized and the upgrading and modernizing of the country’s 26,000 miles of track and replacing older locomotives, including some steam engines, with powerful and modern diesel-fueled locomotives are becoming a reality.
Photo Caption: Cuban trail rounds bend near Santiago de Cuba. (Visit Captain Hank Facebook)
Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer between May 31st & June 2nd at the Jacob Javits Center, but are presently available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.